Crystal Balls

Submitted a year ago
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In the event that the daily news is too cheerful for you, I invite you to dip into the past for predictions of the future.  I’d like to steer you to two heavy weights in the prediction business, Nostradamus and Edgar Cayce.

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On a wet Sunday afternoon, with nothing better to do, I googled “Predictions of earth changes, Edgar Cayce”.   Let me admit that I’ve been an Edgar Cayce fan for decades, ever since I first read about him in the ‘60s.  And there, you always thought I was so sensible and down to earth. 

Edgar Cayce was born on a farm in 1877 and his psychic abilities began early.  Over the period of his life—he died in 1945—he gave psychic readings, mostly medical though he had no formal medical training, to thousands, recommending treatments which were efficacious and unusual.  From 1934 to 1941,  long before the concepts of polar shifts or continental drift were a twinkle in anyone’s eye, he also predicted earth changes:

 There will be upheavals in the Arctic and in the Antarctic that will make for eruption of volcanoes in the torrid areas, and there will be the shifting then of the poles—to that where there has been those of a frigid or semi-tropical will become the more tropical…..and these will begin in the periods in ’59 to ’98…..   1/19/34

            …many portions of the east coast will be disturbed, and well as many portions of the west coast, as well as the central portion of the U.S……Portions of the now east coast of  New York, or New York City itself, will in the main disappear….the southern portions of Carolina,  Georgia—these will disappear.  This will be much sooner……safety lands will be portions of what is now Ohio, Indiana and Illinois….  8/13/41.

           And so it goes.  Feeling better yet?  Still, it’s not all bad news.  Indiana will finally have oceans views and you will be able to go fly fishing from the hundredth floor of the Empire State Building.

On to Nostradamus (1503-66), the pen name for a prosperous and well-educated French doctor who claimed to predict the future, well into the 21st century.  In his spare time he composed hundreds of quatrains written in such a quizzical way that, even given the leeway that we might be reading a questionable translation, are difficult to understand.  But how about this:

 For forty years a rainbow will not be seen. For forty years it will be seen every day.The dry earth will grow parched, and there will be great floods.

 And, for a little light relief:

 The great shameless audacious bawler. He will be elected governor of the army;     The boldness of his contentions, the bridge broken. The city faints from fear.                                           

Does this remind you of anyone? 

Well, here’s the thing.  If these events are going to happen—and we no longer need Nostradamus or Edgar Cayce to foretell them—then that puts everything else into perspective.  Your headache, a flat tire, bats in the attic or (my personal burden) squirrels in the sophets.

           So, be generous with yourself.  Do not eat a low fat diet (which is bad for you anyway).  Do not give up chocolate or wine or coffee (which are good for you anyway).  And definitely carpe diem, as Nostradamus might have said.  Tomorrow may be a lot worse.

Joan Jaffe lives and writes in Norwich

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